Sunday, April 18, 2010

Namesakes of Christ

On Palm Sunday we heard in Paul’s letter to the Philippians that all things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth must bend their knee at the name of Jesus. That name comes back in today’s first reading.

The Sanhedrin, whom we heard about just a few short weeks ago in the reading of the Passion, are again confronted by Jesus in his name being proclaimed by the apostles. Peter and the others refuse to bend their knee to the authority of the Sanhedrin and stop teaching in the name of Christ. In fact, they rejoice that they have been persecuted for doing so.

Do we turn to those first brave followers when we are called upon to give witness to the name of Christ in our name “Christian” day by day? When we must stand against, challenge, or confront forces that counter the gospel of justice, peace, joy, and beauty, do we give witness with no less than the Holy Spirit, or do we remain silent? Do we genuinely give honor to the name of Jesus by being his namesakes in the world today?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Get on the Bus

On the Friday before Mother’s Day, Get on the Bus will bring more than 1,000 children from throughout the state to visit their mothers in prison.

Due to distance and poverty, this is the only day each year that most of these children will get to see their mothers. Get on the Bus provides each child free transportation, meals, activities, travel bags and a family photograph taken during the visit.

Please help this important project. To make a donation, send checks to: GET ON THE BUS, 5411 Carmellia Ave., North Hollywood CA 91601.

To learn more about ways to get involved, contact Margaret Sardo, San Fernando Regional coordinator, at (818) 365-5123 or

Friday, April 9, 2010

Have you made or updated your will or living trust?

Have you made or updated your will or living trust?

Doing so will not hasten your death but will allow you to make those important decisions and make it easier for your loved ones. Please remember in your estate planning St. Bernard Church, 2500 W. Ave. 33, Los Angeles, CA 90065; or St. Bernard School, 3254 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065.

Each year Masses are offered for our benefactors.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

St. Bernard Children's Birthday Club

Congratulations and blessings to the April birthday members: Sarah Linsangan, 13; Riley Sanchez, 9; Susy Rodriguez, 8; and Miguel Angel del Campo, 3.

All children under the age of 12 are invited to be signed up at the church office.

St. Bernard School news

St. Bernard Catholic School is now accepting applications for 2010-2011 school year, kindergarten to eighth grade.

Prospective parents are invited to come by the school on Thursday mornings or by appointment for a tour of the school in session. Please call the school at (323) 256-4989, or visit our website at

Fashion Show
Celebrating 50 years of fashion at St. Bernard on April 24 at the Quiet Cannon Restaurant in Montebello. Raffle tickets will be sold after Mass on Sunday and in the school office. Parishioners who would like to help with the event are invited to call Mr. Vela at (323) 225-3077. Solicitation letters for ads, in memoriam and personal messages can be obtained in the rectory or the school office. You can also access Fashion Show updates on the school website at Look for the Fashion Show link.

Congratulations to Adrian De La Cruz, Samantha Hernandez, Dominique Ornelas and Jayson Viado whose Artwork will be displayed at the Los Angeles County Student Art Exhibit beginning March 28 at the Los Cerritos Center.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pope appoints coadjutor archbishop for Los Angeles

Pope Benedict XVI has named Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of San Antonio as coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles. The appointment was announced today, April 6, in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

As coadjutor, Archbishop Gomez, 58, will automatically become head of the three-county Archdiocese of Los Angeles upon Cardinal Roger Mahony’s retirement at age 75 on Feb. 27, 2011. A Mass of reception for Archbishop Gomez is scheduled for May 26.

“I welcome Archbishop Gomez to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles with enthusiasm and personal excitement,” said Cardinal Mahony. “The Auxiliary Bishops and I are looking forward to working closely with him over the coming months until he becomes the Archbishop early in 2011.”

Born in Monterrey, Mexico, and spending his early priesthood in Texas, Archbishop Gomez will become the first Hispanic archbishop of Los Angeles. When he succeeds Cardinal Mahony in 2011, Archbishop Gomez will head the largest Catholic Archdiocese in the United States, with more than 5 million members, 70 percent of them Hispanic.

‘I’m very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this opportunity to serve the church with a mentor and leader like Cardinal Roger Mahony,” Archbishop Gomez said. “I’m grateful to the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, for supporting the Holy Father’s confidence in me. I will try with all my strength to earn that trust.”

For more information, visit

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cardinal Roger Mahony's Easter message

Perhaps one of the most annoying experiences in life these days is being put “on hold.” We make a call to the pharmacy, or supermarket, or even our parish — and we are asked if we will hold for a moment. We count the minutes that seem like hours as our blood pressure and frustration rise. We whisper: “What a waste of my time!” When the mind-numbing muzak or commercial on the other end of the line fades, we wonder: “Is anyone on the other end of the line? Are you still there?”

For so many of us today, it seems that our lives are often “on hold.” Economic constraints mean that many will not be able to buy their own home, and are afraid of losing the one they have. We worry that we will not be able to hold on to our jobs. Those who have worked long and hard to enjoy their golden years must now continue to work while they put retirement on hold.

If we are fortunate enough to have work these days, we ask: How do I hold together all the demands of my work, family, friendships, and religious commitments? We wonder: If I have no work, how will I hold on to this house? How will I be able to get to work if I cannot hold on to this car? Then there is the gnawing uncertainty: How do I hold the members of this family together? How do I hold myself together when I often feel like I’m coming apart at the seams?

When so much of our life is put on hold, we begin to feel stuck in a never-ending cycle of monotonous waiting, a permanent holding pattern. Like those white-knuckle passengers in an airplane who grow more anxious as the pilot circles above a fog-laced airport in a holding pattern, our fears can escalate when we feel like we are holding on for dear life.

For many of us, our concluding Lent has helped us take a closer look at our own personal “holding pattern.” Holy Week and Easter vividly reminds us that the whole life, ministry, suffering, passion and dying of Jesus is one of self-giving, self-emptying. He does not cling, he does not grasp. Rather, he empties himself. His pattern of holding is one of non-holding, standing before his Father with nothing in his hands but the promise of unbounded joy.

Recently I was privileged to be in Washington, D.C., for the large Immigration Reform Rally. I was deeply impressed by some 200,000 people — most of them immigrants, documented and without documents — who themselves have been in a holding pattern. All are anxious to leave their holding pattern in the shadows, and to find a path forward to legal residency in our country. The stories are difficult — so many mixed families, some members of a family U.S. citizens, and some not. The danger of separation among family members keeps them in a holding pattern of fear.

At times such as these when we feel that life is on hold, it is all the more important than ever to hold on to what really matters. It is our hope in the Risen Christ that is alone worth holding on to. And learning his example of self-emptying makes us realize that we, like him, are held, all of us together, in a love beyond imagining.

On this feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ this year, let us pray for the grace and strength to move beyond our holding pattern and unite ourselves ever more fully and deeply in the risen life of him who has broken the bonds of fear, sin, and death!

Pope’s Easter message: 'Let us sing to the Lord'

Cantemus Domino: gloriose enim magnificatus est.

“Let us sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!” (Liturgy of the Hours, Easter, Office of Readings, Antiphon 1).

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I bring you the Easter proclamation in these words of the Liturgy, which echo the ancient hymn of praise sung by the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. It is recounted in the Book of Exodus (cf 15:19-21) that when they had crossed the sea on dry land, and saw the Egyptians submerged by the waters, Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, and the other women sang and danced to this song of joy: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed wonderfully: horse and rider he has thrown into the sea!” Christians throughout the world repeat this canticle at the Easter Vigil, and a special prayer explains its meaning; a prayer that now, in the full light of the resurrection, we joyfully make our own: “Father, even today we see the wonders of the miracles you worked long ago. You once saved a single nation from slavery, and now you offer that salvation to all through baptism. May the peoples of the world become true sons of Abraham and prove worthy of the heritage of Israel.”

The Gospel has revealed to us the fulfilment of the ancient figures: in his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has freed us from the radical slavery of sin and opened for us the way towards the promised land, the Kingdom of God, the universal Kingdom of justice, love and peace. This “exodus” takes place first of all within man himself, and it consists in a new birth in the Holy Spirit, the effect of the baptism that Christ has given us in his Paschal Mystery. The old man yields his place to the new man; the old life is left behind, and a new life can begin (cf. Rom 6:4). But this spiritual “exodus” is the beginning of an integral liberation, capable of renewing us in every dimension – human, personal and social.

Yes, my brothers and sisters, Easter is the true salvation of humanity! If Christ – the Lamb of God – had not poured out his blood for us, we would be without hope, our destiny and the destiny of the whole world would inevitably be death. But Easter has reversed that trend: Christ’s resurrection is a new creation, like a graft that can regenerate the whole plant. It is an event that has profoundly changed the course of history, tipping the scales once and for all on the side of good, of life, of pardon. We are free, we are saved! Hence from deep within our hearts we cry out: “Let us sing to the Lord: glorious his triumph!”

The Christian people, having emerged from the waters of baptism, is sent out to the whole world to bear witness to this salvation, to bring to all people the fruit of Easter, which consists in a new life, freed from sin and restored to its original beauty, to its goodness and truth. Continually, in the course of two thousand years, Christians – especially saints – have made history fruitful with their lived experience of Easter. The Church is the people of the Exodus, because she constantly lives the Paschal Mystery and disseminates its renewing power in every time and place. In our days too, humanity needs an “exodus”, not just superficial adjustment, but a spiritual and moral conversion. It needs the salvation of the Gospel, so as to emerge from a profound crisis, one which requires deep change, beginning with consciences

I pray to the Lord Jesus that in the Middle East, and especially in the land sanctified by his death and resurrection, the peoples will accomplish a true and definitive “exodus” from war and violence to peace and concord. To the Christian communities who are experiencing trials and sufferings, especially in Iraq, the Risen Lord repeats those consoling and encouraging words that he addressed to the Apostles in the Upper Room: “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:21).

For the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that are seeing a dangerous resurgence of crimes linked to drug trafficking, let Easter signal the victory of peaceful coexistence and respect for the common good. May the beloved people of Haiti, devastated by the appalling tragedy of the earthquake, accomplish their own “exodus” from mourning and from despair to a new hope, supported by international solidarity. May the beloved citizens of Chile, who have had to endure another grave catastrophe, set about the task of reconstruction with tenacity, supported by their faith.

In the strength of the risen Jesus, may the conflicts in Africa come to an end, conflicts which continue to cause destruction and suffering, and may peace and reconciliation be attained, as guarantees of development. In particular I entrust to the Lord the future of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea and Nigeria.

May the Risen Lord sustain the Christians who suffer persecution and even death for their faith, as for example in Pakistan. To the countries afflicted by terrorism and by social and religious discrimination, may He grant the strength to undertake the work of building dialogue and serene coexistence. To the leaders of nations, may Easter bring light and strength, so that economic and financial activity may finally be driven by the criteria of truth, justice and fraternal aid. May the saving power of Christ’s resurrection fill all of humanity, so that it may overcome the multiple tragic expressions of a “culture of death” which are becoming increasingly widespread, so as to build a future of love and truth in which every human life is respected and welcomed.

Dear brothers and sisters, Easter does not work magic. Just as the Israelites found the desert awaiting them on the far side of the Red Sea, so the Church, after the resurrection, always finds history filled with joy and hope, grief and anguish. And yet, this history is changed, it is marked by a new and eternal covenant, it is truly open to the future. For this reason, saved by hope, let us continue our pilgrimage, bearing in our hearts the song that is ancient and yet ever new: “Let us sing to the Lord: glorious his triumph!”


May the Risen Lord extend to you and your families his peace and his blessings.

As we celebrate the feast of new life, I pray that each of us be renewed in our faith and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ. In Him and through Him we find our joy and strength.

A warm welcome to those visitors with us today for Mass and to family members home for Easter!

Sincere thanks to all who have helped us observe Holy Week and celebrate Easter. Our parish community is blessed to have so many wonderful members who give of themselves in service. A special word of thanks to the priests who help us. To the altar society, the liturgy committee, all the liturgical ministers, the altar servers, those who participated in and provided support for the dramatization of the Palm Sunday gospel and the living stations of the cross on Good Friday, the choirs, the Youth Ministry Group, Martin Villa, the Knights of Columbus and all who have helped to prepare and decorate the church for Easter.

We are indebted to you! My thanks also to those who have been generous in their financial support. May God bless you.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Sunday Homilies

Homily for Holy Thursday Mass on Thursday, April 1, 2010
(Holy Thursday)

In his homily for Holy Thursday, Father Paul Henson said, "Washing each other's feet means going to someone's home ... going out of our way to wash each other's feet. That's how Jesus changes history, and that's the story that we tell. ... It's about me going out there and making a difference."